What’s your program and specialty?
I am in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences Division in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. I am also in the Collaborative Doctoral Program in Global Health and the Collaborative Program in Public Health Policy. My research focus is around gender and health, specifically looking at resource programming for women’s health in post-conflict settings.
Why are you studying global health?
In an increasing globalized world, with higher rates of migration, understanding global public health is essential to understanding local public health.
Why did you choose to take part in the Collaborative Doctoral Program in Global Health?
This program combined my love of travel, my interest in population health and my belief in social justice and health equity. It has also been a great way to meet other students from across the university involved in global health. This creates opportunities for collaboration, innovation and creativity.
What are some current projects or research that you’re involved in?
My own personal work is in post-conflict northern Uganda. After the internal war between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan Government’s army there have been ongoing efforts and programming at reintegrating former child soldiers. Early on, much programming ignored the role of girls as child soldiers and failed to meet their uniquely gendered reintegration needs. While more programming is now focused on women, the government has failed to meet the health needs of women in northern Uganda. I look at ways women navigate towards health-sustaining resources when government and NGO programs fail to meet their needs: what resources they access, how they overcome barriers to access, and if they have specific strategies for accessing health-sustaining resources. I move away from the common “victimization” framing and use post-colonial feminist theory to view women as agents with power to enact change in their lives.
I am also doing some work for a professor in Social Work examining structural and social contexts of HIV for LGBTQ+ individuals in Swaziland and Lesotho, and in the Northwest Territories.
If you have one, what is your dissertation title?
The web of factors influencing the health of former female child soldiers: understanding the pathways towards health and wellbeing in post-conflict northern Uganda
What would you say to a prospective student who is considering the CDPGH or studying global health at the University of Toronto more broadly?
Get in touch with everyone, follow up on all connections, collaborate and network.